A screengrab from a video that allegedly shows a friendly aircraft dropping a bomb dangerously close to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. ()
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New video footage shows U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan coming dangerously close to a 500-pound bomb — allegedly dropped by fellow service members who mistook their position for the enemy.
Miraculously, no Americans are wounded or killed. But, if true, it is a disturbing close call.
The footage was posted Tuesday by Funker530.com, and quickly garnered tens of thousands of views. The website bills itself as a “veteran community” with photos and videos “provided for and by veterans.”
This three-and-a-half minute video shows soldiers in Paktika province, Afghanistan, preparing for an airstrike. According to the website, the soldiers, some of whom are wearing the 1st Infantry Division patch, were receiving sniper fire. Before the air strike hits, soldiers can be seen readying to drop mortars.
The video opens with soldiers commenting on an incoming airstrike. You can hear an aircraft, but not see it. Then, at the 18-second mark, you hear the bomb and soldiers hit the dirt. A number of expletives follow as soldiers try to figure out what happened.
Army Times has not been able to verify the video, and is waiting for a response from Army officials in Afghanistan.
In an e-mail to Army Times, a representative from Funker530 declined to provide any more information except that the incident occurred in 2013 and the investigation has been closed.
The email response referred Army Times to an interview on the website with the soldier who caught the incident on camera.
In the interview, the soldier said they were up in their observation post when they took a few harassing rounds.
Their battalion headquarters called in the airstrike, and before they knew it, the bomb landed about 15 meters behind them, the soldier said.
“About a half second before impact, you could hear the bomb screaming in like I hadn’t ever heard before, and I definitely knew at that point something was off,” the soldier said, according to Funker530.
After they realized what had happened, the soldiers can be seen in the video making sure everyone else at the OP was OK.
According to the soldier interviewed by Funker530, the soldiers’ first sergeant had put everyone on “stand to,” ordering them into their fighting positions before the bomb was dropped. His call saved their lives, the soldier said.
“If it hadn’t been for the decision of the first sergeant ... three of our guys would have died in that wood building,” the soldier said.